SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento City Unified School District voted 6 to 1 Thursday night to reduce school resource officers (SROs) on campus.
It was not solely a budget issue. School leaders told ABC10 it was part of a larger discussion about the overall role of officers in a school setting.
"To me, we need to stick with what is tried and true and with what we know to be working," said teacher Julie Snider. "Both staff and parents and the community at large is being blindsided. There has not been a general announcement about this policy change."
The plan calls for reducing school resource officers from eight to three with a police sergeant. It also calls for hiring a director of school safety.
"I think that there is general recognition that we have to do more to think about school safety in a different model than what we've had in the past," said Jessie Ryan, school board president.
Other objectives include:
• Training for existing staff, including, but not limited to, implicit bias and restorative practices that focus on building a stronger positive school climate and developing stronger supports for students by caring district and site staff;
• Identifying and seeking increased funding for mental health support to students;
• Focusing on the role of site administrators as the primary contact on discipline matters;
• Eliminating school-based assignments for SROs;
• Centralized data monitoring where non-school site SROs' assistance is requested and provided;
• Building more robust processes and procedures pertaining to comprehensive school safety plans, emergency drills, and related policies and protocols through the development of a broad work group; and
• Engaging students and families in the planning and monitoring of school safety investments.
"One of the challenges is that in urban areas where there are predominantly Black and Latino students we are overly policed, which creates a pipeline to prison," said Carl Pinkston with the School Resource Officer Coalition.
He believes there is a role for police on school campuses in cases of "really egregious crimes that take place and impacts the campus."
We first told you about this controversial process. ABC10 was there last month as School Board President Jessie Ryan joined members of law enforcement, parents and educators in discussing how to better use the $1.5 million set aside for SROs.